Getting Sunburned Just Once Increases Cancer Risk

September 7, 2018

 

Sheri Farasat, a United Hospital Dermatologist, has warned Americans of the risk the sun poses on a person’s chances of getting cancer. With the continued seasonal summer weather, the fellow at the Royal Academy of Dermatology has given information about how people can treat themselves in the event of a sunburn. Ibuprofen is recommended to fight inflammation. “Even a few in those first few days will be very helpful,” Farasat has said. There are many ways to limit cancer damage, but one of the best options is to protect yourself from a burn and try to heal it as quickly as possible if it does arise.

 

What a Burn Is Telling You

Sunburn is your body’s way of alerting you to the fact that your DNA has been damaged by overexposure to UV radiation. Getting it just once in two years is enough to triple your risk of developing skin cancer, regardless of your age. There’s no wonder that it is so painful and uncomfortable. You have evolved to avoid situations like this and to deal with it quickly. It is possible to get bronzed safely in the sun, so don’t think you have to avoid sun altogether. Just be sure protect yourself from a burn.

 

How You Can Stay Protected

Clothing is one of the best barriers to UV light, keeping your skin safe from harmful rays. However, in hot climates, this is less than ideal. A wide brimmed hat or baseball cap is a good way to keep a shadow over you throughout the day, while sunglasses block 99% of UV light from getting into your eyes.

The highest factor sun lotion you can find will allow you to tan safely. However, it is ineffective when improperly applied. Be sure to coat any exposed skin thoroughly and to reapply the lotion every two hours. You will also need to top up the lotion if you get wet, for instance from swimming or sweating.

 

How to Treat a Burn

If a burn does occur, then you need to treat it promptly, so that damaged cells can heal. Farasat recommends a cold bath to reduce inflammation, followed by applying moisturizer. Applying cream while still slightly damp helps to lock in that moisture and heal dry and cracked skin more quickly. Farasat specifically recommends moisturizer with aloe vera, which she says “tend to sort of calm the area down”.

 

Staying out of the sun completely will prevent further damage and speed up the healing process. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, partly due to a failure of those with sunburn to treat it quickly and effectively. By ensuring you do so, your risk of cancer will be greatly reduced.

 

Any amount of sunburn is a bad sign. Don’t view it as a normal part of summer, but rather a health risk to be avoided. Almost all skin cancer is caused by exposure to UV light, so follow Farasat’s advice for prevention and treatment of sunburn.

 

 

Image Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/akvIvA4ZEeg

 

 

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